An off duty police officer committed suicide after his cousin allegedly used the officer’s service pistol to do the same.
South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson in the Eastern Cape, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said it is alleged that at about 23:30, the 35-year-old Constable from Mthatha Flying Squad and his cousin were at the police official’s house with their girlfriends.
Soon after the 20-year-old cousin walked outside, a shot was heard. When everyone ran outside, they found the cousin lying against the wall with a gunshot wound to his head. It is further alleged that the cousin shot himself with the member’s service pistol.
Naidu said witnesses alleged that the police officer, who was in a state of panic, picked up the firearm and took his own life. He succumbed to his injuries on the scene.
“Circumstances surrounding the double tragedy are under investigation. Police have opened inquests dockets. Names are being withheld until a formal identification is done,” she said.
Meanwhile, Eastern Cape Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene reiterated that a thorough investigation will be conducted and urged police officers to report to their commanders of any matters that may cause emotional or mental stress.
“We have our in-house Employee Health and Wellness with trained psychologists and social workers to assist members to deal with their emotional stress/problems. We advise our members that resorting to extreme measures such as this is no solution. There is no problem too big that cannot be resolved. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased member and that of his cousin as well,” Mene said.